If you or someone you love snores, you may find yourself wondering if it’s just a frustrating habit or the sign of something more serious like sleep apnea.
Snoring is a breathing disorder that is on a spectrum. Think of it as snoring on the far left and obstructive sleep apnea on the far right. There’s a whole range of severity within this spectrum of breathing problems during sleep and without a professional evaluation there’s no way for you to know just how much it is affecting your health.
We can live weeks without food, days without water but we can only live for minutes without oxygen. If you’re snoring or you have sleep apnea, it’s your bodies way of waking you up just enough to get the air you need. Somebody who is snoring is not getting a good night’s sleep because they aren’t getting the oxygen they need.
Anyone can have sleep apnea. In the past, many doctors thought that older, heavier men were the only ones who were really at risk for the breathing disorder. Now, research has proven that anyone can suffer from sleep apnea- even children. It’s also important to note that you can have sleep apnea without ever snoring. Snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea but it is not always a symptom for everyone.
Treating Sleep Apnea
A CPAP machine is the most common, first line of treatment after sleep apnea is diagnosed. A CPAP, which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, is a breathing machine your doctor can prescribe for you. But some patients are CPAP intolerant and just can’t or don’t want to use these machines. Thankfully, for those who are looking for an alternative treatment to a CPAP machine, an oral appliance made by a dentist like Dr. Norman who is qualified to treat sleep apnea can be the answer. This device keeps the jaw positioned properly to allow for improved airflow all through the night, keeping oxygen levels where they need to be without a noisy, uncomfortable machine.
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